Boy at home with family

Initiatives and support for better housing outcomes

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is working with housing providers to trial initiatives to get better results for people with complex issues and severe housing needs.

People with the most complex needs may have a record of behaviour that makes it difficult to retain stable housing, putting them at risk of homelessness. With stable housing and tailored support, people are far more likely to gain control over their lives, be safer and healthier, and stay in school or work.

These initiatives will give us evidence about what works so that we can invest in support that makes a difference.

Housing First

New Zealand cities, particularly Auckland, have people who are homeless and are sleeping rough. They often have complex issues with addiction or mental illness. Stable housing is a vital first step in helping them turn their lives around.

In March 2017, community housing providers in Auckland launched a programme called Housing First, which has been successful internationally in reducing chronic homelessness.

The Housing First model is focused on ending homelessness – not managing it. It places homeless people with complex needs into long-term housing immediately with no readiness conditions, and then provides the health, wellbeing, social and community services required to support their success as a long-term and valued tenant.

The Auckland pilot is going well, and as at 31 December 2017, 176 participants were placed into secure and stable accommodation.

Budget 2017 allocated $16.45m to expand Housing First into other high-need regions, which will allow MSD to purchase up to 500 new places and support services over four years.

It was recently announced by the Associate Minister for Housing and Urban Development that 100 places each, will be made available in both Christchurch and Tauranga for Housing First participants.

Sustaining Tenancies

Staying in stable housing gives people the best opportunity to improve their lives. Launched in early 2017, with Housing New Zealand and MSD, Sustaining Tenancies sees providers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch working closely with social housing tenants with complex needs. It aims to help people retain their tenancies and get the support they need.

Positive Housing Pathways

A Positive Housing Pathways initiative will fund social housing for people leaving prison, who are in a reintegration programme. It will include 125 housing places in Auckland and 125 across the rest of the country. It will also fund support services to help the ex-prisoners build on the support they received in prison and continue to turn their lives around.

Supported accommodation for youth

Since 1 July 2015, MSD has contracted providers in Christchurch, Palmerston North and Auckland to provide accommodation and social support for up to 21 young people in need of housing and to reduce pressure on the social housing register.

Emergency accommodation for perpetrators of family violence

From November 2016, combined agencies are piloting an emergency accommodation initiative for perpetrators of family violence who have been removed from their home following a police safety order.

Emergency accommodation reduces the risk of a perpetrator breaching their police safety order and returning home because they have nowhere else to stay, and allows families to stay in their home.

In Christchurch, North Canterbury and the Waikato, MSD has contracted organisations experienced in emergency housing and support services for perpetrators and families of family violence.